Parochial Schools Increasingly Serve As Special Education Alternative
Catholic schools are offering programs for children with disabilities more and more, with schools serving students diagnosed with everything from Asperger’s syndrome to intellectual disability.
Though traditionally out of reach for faith-based schools given the high cost of providing special education services, determined parents are fund-raising and getting grants to develop programs at Catholic schools across the country. In fact, the number of Catholic elementary schools with a resource teacher to assist students with special needs grew from 28 to 42 percent between the 2001-2002 school year and 2008-2009.
The programs vary, but at one Virginia school, students have small, separated classes for their core academics and then join with other students for electives and extra curricular activities.
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In some cases, parents pay higher tuition for students with disabilities as compared to others at the school, but typically grants and donations help to keep down extra costs.
While many parents say faith-based education is a priority for them, they also point out that a religious environment can mean that students with disabilities are more accepted, reports The Washington Post. To read more click here.